It was ranked as one of the best diets for fast weight loss by the U.S. News and World Report, so what is the Optavia diet, why haven’t we heard of it before now, and will it actually fulfil its promise of helping people to lose weight and live a healthier lifestyle?
What is the Optavia diet?
The Optavia diet is a low-calorie meal plan that doesn’t restrict any particular food group, but is based around eating a certain number of meals a day that the diet plan calls ‘fuellings’. Developed by physicians, dietitians, and scientists, the diet’s ‘fuellings’ are supposed to keep you full and help reduce weight.
Optavia is a pre-packaged food diet, so all of the meals consumed on the diet need to be purchased from Optavia and range from chicken and potatoes to pancakes. Signing up to the diet starts at US$350 a month and includes the meals and access to a diet coach.
“Our approach to health is radically different,” the company writes on its website. “We believe Optimal Health and wellbeing is about what’s added to your life, not what’s subtracted from the scale. These habits add to your quality of life by getting your mind and body working together to work for you.”
How does it work?
Optavia offers three different plans to choose from, the main one being their ‘5&1’ plan.
“You’ll choose from more than 60 delicious, convenient, nutritionally interchangeable, scientifically-designed Fuelings. Your body will enter a gentle, but efficient fat-burning state, essential for losing weight,” Optavia explain on their website.
The three Optavia plans are as follows:
5&1 Plan – Eat six small meals per day. Includes five Optavia ‘fuellings’, bought from the company and selected by the customer from their range and one a ‘lean and green’ meal prepared using just protein and vegetables.
4&2&1 Plan – A more flexible plan, this includes four ‘fuellings’ from Optavia, and the necessity to prepare two lean and green meals a day. You are also allowed a healthy snack at one stage in the day.
3&3 Plan – three fuellings and three lean and green meals a day make this the least intense of the Optavia plans.
Will the Optavia diet help you lose weight?
The Optavia diet was ranked second in the fast weight loss category by the U.S. News and World Report – so there is clearly something working here to help people lose weight.
“When you know what optimal nutrition looks like, healthy eating becomes second nature,” the company writes on its website, claiming that this is the key to losing weight on the diet.
According to Optavia, more than 1 million people have tried their diet and it has been recommended by more than 20,000 doctors, which has no doubt added to the hype around this American diet and its results.
However, as with other pre-packaged food diets, while customers may see the weight drop off initially, diets like Optavia often aren’t sustainable and this also showed in the results of the U.S. News and World Report where the Optavia diet did not rank well for long-term weight loss.
It also fell down on nutrition, thanks to the pre-packaged foods that are not very fresh and include options like chocolate and vanilla ‘shakes’, man and cheese and a ‘decadent’ chocolate brownie.
At the moment, Optavia is only available in the US, with an expansion planned this year for Hong Kong and Singapore.